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Consecration - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,088 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,088
Hads: 4,801
Avg: 4.41
pDev: 20.18%
Wants: 1,610
Gots: 1,662 | FT: 125
Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Gueuzedude on 10-31-2008

Belgian-style dark ale aged in American oak Cabernet Sauvignon barrels with currants.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,088 | Hads: 4,801
Photo of corby112
4.7/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From notes:

Pours a deep ruby color with golden mahogany edges and a two finger frothy off-white head. Good retention, only slowly fading into a lasting ring that coats the glass with large chunks of soapy lacing.

Funky, musty aroma with lots of earthy oak tannis, dry brett and vinous dark fruit. The barrel aging is very prominent in the nose with lots of red wine character. Hints of grape, currant, tart cherries and other dark berries as well as oak and subtle vanilla. This is complimented by the funky/barnyard/horsey notes.

Full bodied, intensely tart and puckering with slight acidity and some soft carbonation up front. Very funky with lots of musty, dry brett/bugs as well as a sour vinegar flavor that lingers over the barrel and vinous dark fruit notes into puckering dry finish that leaves me drooling for more. As in the aroma, the barrel character is prominent with earthy oak, slight vanilla and a prominent red wine/dark fruit flavor. Hints of grape, currant cherry, plum, raisin and other dark berries.

This beer has an incredible balance of tart, acidic, funky sourness and sweet, vinous dark fruit and it is the perfect blend of the wine and craft beer worlds.

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Photo of larryi86
4.7/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

375 mL bottle poured into a tulip, Batch 004x1

A- Hazy reddish/brown color with almost no head.

S- Sour barn yard funk, hints of fruit and oak.

T- Sour and tart lemon/citrus flavors up front at really dominate taste in a great way. Juicy citrus fruit flavors. Nice funky finish that has some bitterness and hints of oak.

M- Crisp, smooth, refresh.

D- Almost too easy to drink. 10%ABV is not noticeable at all. This is just a great sour ale that is worth trying if you like sours. I wish this was easier to find around me, so far this is the best sour that I have had.

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Photo of jampics2
4.7/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle split with friends at a New Years tasting. Batch 2x3.

Pours a dark plum color with no head. White ring circles what appears to be a tasty wild beer!

Smell is James Brown Funky. We're talking "can I count it off?" kind of funk. 1, 2,3, 4, Brett, Sachh, Lacto, Pedio - hit me. Vinegar, lemon, and cherry join the funky foursome to make a great nose complete.

Taste is perfect. Seriously. Perfect. Deep sour backed with oak, dark fruits, tobacco, cabernet, and a touch of vinegar make this so deep and defined that there really is no comparison to other beers out there. This IS that good.

The brilliant, lively carb and finish combine with a great body to make this beer simply a pleasure to drink. Someone should let Maurice Sendak know, the Wild Things are at Russian River.

Honestly, one of the most enjoyable beers I've ever had!

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Photo of RedSpecial1
4.7/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a reddish caramel with a fair bit of tan foamy head initially which rapidly dissipates.

S: Oak dominates, but there are also notes of red currant, caramel, and a touch of alcohol heat.

T: Strong burst of sweetness quicly overtaken by a lactic tartness. This fades into an astringency with notes of oak and vanilla.

M: Thin, but also a bit syrupy. Very sharp on the palate.

O: It has a depth of flavor that is much more interesting than many in this style. These different flavors play off of each other well enough that it doesn't overpower you with any one of them.

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Photo of JimmyTango
4.7/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

To me this is everything geat about Roddenbach Grand Cru time a thousand... more complexity, more sourness, more leather, more better. Clear brown with a dark red tint. Amazing! Currants, jucy, sour, balanced, tobacco, oak, and clove. Its hard for me to describe just how much you’ll like it. Subtle and delicious but crazy complex. Get it!

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4.71/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 mL bottle to a tulip. Batch # 003x1.

What does one do when he shows up to a bar looking for a quick $5 pint and stumbles upon a big, pricey bottle of Consecration? (That was a rhetorical question.)

A: The body is dark, murky & pruney-brown colored with a small bubbly head, light brown in color. It made an appearance and then, all at once, took off like it stole something. Interesting to say the least but I'm not at all impressed at this point.

S: Thank goodness...Nothing short of phenomenal! First and dominant aroma is the yeast bill which is heavy barnyard, sweat and meat. The bottle boasts of the brettanomyces, lactobacillus, saccharomyces & pediococcus, all wild yeast strains as far as I know. And why not? They combine to assist in one of the most uniquely aromatic brews I've ever tried. The malt and hops are hard to separate but I get hay/straw and flower respectively. An entire orchestra of fruit flavors: dark and ripe fruits of raisin, plum, red grape, currant & date provide the sweet flavors while the white grape & raspberry supplement with sour and tart. A bit of prune and dried fig come to mind as well. No mistaking the vinous nature of Consecration either. The oaky wood and earthy cabernet sauvignon components (plus hints of tobacco) are deep rooted.

T & M: The flavor duration is tantalizingly long and slow, making it impossible not to savor each sip. Moderately sweet and harshly acidic (but in a stimulating way). The mouthfeel is somewhere on another planet. The carbonation level is atmospheric. The finish is WILDLY astringent. The body is fuller than a woman in a 'plus-size' department store. I love it!!!

D: If I can drink an entire 750 by myself, you can too.

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Photo of glid02
4.72/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from Batch 001x4 at Naja's in Redondo Beach, CA.

Pours a clear dark ruby/brown color with a half-finger tan head. The head dissipates into a thin layer on top leaving light lacing.

Smells of tart cherries and currants - though I'll be the first to admit the latter is noticed primarily from reading the bottle - with a solid funkiness and hints of oak. As it warms the oak flavors gain some steam but the tart fruit never wavers.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Mildly sweet light to medium fruit flavors up front are overtaken quickly by tart fruit flavors that become more tart as the beer warms. There's a hint of raisins and other dark fruit in the taste that wasn't present in the aroma. Ending is solidly tart and mildly dry.

Mouthfeel is great. This is one of the best I can remember from an AWA, a very nice thickness with active and grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished the bottle surprisingly quick and could easily have had another.

Overall this was a very good AWA and my first foray into RR sours. A good way to start.

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Photo of mudbug
4.72/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours like a soda pop with a quickly dissipating bubbly froth.
What is this?A dark brown clear liquid no head at all, beer?
The aroma is perplexing, I would describe it as the insides of a discarded yeasty/moldy jar of raspberry jam.
Taste is what it's about, YEE GADS thats sour, Like the best lemonaid you ever had,sour cherries, unripe apricots, strong carbonation hammers down the sour taste-buds until endorphins take over and calm everything down again, must have another taste, then another
Addicting, mesmerizing flavor.
Ye Gads! BRAVO!

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Photo of mikey711
4.72/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had my sister bring me a couple bottles back for me from colorado. Definately worth it.

Poured a 22oz bottle from batch 001x2 into an oversized wine glass. much darker than i had expected, deep mahoney to purple i would say, providing little head that dissappeared quickly leaving minimal lace.

the smell is pleasantly sour, with fruity notes (raisins, currants, grapes) some spiceyness to, a bit dry...maybe even a little candied sugar.

this is a wildly delicious ale. a nice fruity tartness, dry from the cab sav. very pleasant as the fruitness lingers on the tongue. incredibly drinkable for a wild ale and 10%er. Not harshness.

definately need an open mind for this beer(most non BAs need not apply), but you will definately reep the benefits of a unique and delicious beer. not much to improve on only wish i had more...

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Photo of 4000qtrap
4.72/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Source/Serving: Draft

Smell: Sour grapes, rich ripe dark fruit, tartness, some cellar / wild yeast character. Delightful.

Taste: While its full frontal sour without a doubt, this is tempered by incredibly juiciness....grapes, apples, plums. There's even some banana flavor. A bit of spiciness and low lying woodiness and dryness add interest. No alcohol presence. Finish is very, very fruity, slightly oaky and slightly dry.

Notes: Like a great Cabernet but sweeter, fruitier, and more delicious.

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Photo of hillvt4me
4.72/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottled on 7/18/13. Poured into Hill Farmstead tulip.

Appearance- is dark ruby to mahogany hue. Minimal head. Good lacing.

Smell- dark fruits, red wine, ripe berries and oak.

Taste- dark fruit, currants, red wine tannins, some tartness, some oak character.

Mouth feel is medium to light, dry finish like a wine. Moderate carbonation and excellent balance.

Overall spectacular wild ale; favorite to date. Russian River always has a flavor profile that is complex!

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Photo of afausser
4.72/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: A loud pop as it's uncorked. Pours into a Brooklyn tulip as if it's quite alive, with about two fingers of very volatile and quickly dissipating head. Heavy soda-like carbonation is evident from the bubbles, and is, I'm certain, the only reason there's any bubbles around the edge of the glass, and in fact, across the top of the glass. I'm curious to see how this one will hold up after sitting out for a bit--right now it seems to be something to be contended with. The color itself is almost mahogany, but it's slightly closer to brown tones than red ones. The brew is dark, but clear--just hard to see through because of the depth of tone. How fascinating.

Smell: As I've been writing the appearance notes, the smell has diffused into the rest of the room and I can smell it from several feet away. Smells amazing--sweet and sour all at once, and particularly reminiscent of sour power on sour skittles (down to the little bit of sugar that is throw into that mix). White vinegar notes are also heavily present, and quite mouth-watering, as well as sweet and sour cherries, slight red wine, and balsamic vinaigrette. Below the surface are slight leather and tobacco notes, as well as a bit of oak. Slight chives in the smell.

Taste: Excellent sour taste that manages to blend in wonderful vinegar notes without being overwhelming and tasting like straight white vinegar (though I don't necessarily mind those, either...). A lot of dark and earthy notes--bitter tobacco, leather, earth, and oak--are nicely blended in, and I'm getting a lot more fruit out of it than i did in the nose--sweet and sour cherries, grapes, raisins, bitter cranberries. A LOT of red wine notes in this one--which I suppose makes sense given the barrels. Slight bitter aftertaste that makes the darker notes and red wine stand out as more prominent. I don't want to understate the sour notes, as they're definitely there, but this is so extremely well-crafted that the complexity and depth of the other notes is almost surprising. Gets sweeter as it warms. Wonderful.

Mouthfeel: Mouthfeel is very nice. The intense, soda-like bubbles mentioned in the appearance are not nearly as daunting as they appeared. It's nearly perfectly--if not undercarbonated. Slight very pleasant aftertaste as described above. Light to medium bodied and goes down smoothly and quickly.

Drinkability: Drinkability is extremely excellent given the 10% ABV. Extremely well crafted and delicious, and the alcohol is not at all apparent.

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Photo of Navypride48
4.72/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

You would think that this beer would taste horrible. I mean who mixes wine and beer? But no surprisingly great! The smell of the grapes that give a sweet but yet spicy smell mixed with the malts and hops of the beer make a great pair. This is not for the average beer drinker. But if you love wine and not beer this is your perfect medium.

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Photo of SickBrew
4.72/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My folks brought this back from their "Wine" tour in norther CA along with a few select beers.

Uncorked a 750 ml bottle with my bro-in-law over the weekend and decanted the brew into a couple of oversize wine glasses. It pours a ruby brown and is capped by a finger of off white head that dissipates to a subtle ring. Nose immediately reminds me of beers like The Dissident. Sour, fruity twinges pop up each nostril just daring for another whiff. Aromas are however, a bit milder than some other, almost overpowering sour ales.

Flavor is tart, sour, fruity, acidic, oaky and altogether complex. Besides being a big sour ale, the flavors are a bit difficult to describe and really require an individual palate test. Mouthfeel is medium and supported by some fine carbonation. Overall this is an outstanding beer that masks it 10% ABV. It would go well with some tender hoofed wild game.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.72/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A-Transluent brown in color. Bubbly head quickly fizzes away and leaves remnants on the top of the brew.

S-Smells very tart. Strong vinegar whiffs. Sour fruits. Aged in Cab Sauv barrels and you can tell.

T-Delicious. I love this. Super-sour. Ultra tart cherry. Less vinegar than the nose. Hints of rich dark chocolate. Leaves the tongue scorched by the menacingly sour taste.

M-Very carbonated but fairly heavy on the body. Slick and memorable.

D-I only have one of these and I wish I had many, many more. Excellent. Alcohol is masked perfectly. The harsh taste leaves you wanting more.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.72/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

10.5 oz pour into a tulip at Union Jack's. One of these times I'll do a more thorough review from a bottle, but this will suffice for now....

This is a great beer for catching wine enthusiast's or non-beer believers off guard in what they think a beer can be. Glass is filled carefully and slowly to the lip, leaving no room for a head and initially served a little too cold. Color is a murky, reddish brown, fairly clear and viscous looking. Strong vinous aroma, balanced and alternating oaky, mild vanilla sweetness with acidic funky dark fruit sourness. Flavor is deep, dark and complex. At colder temps the sour and funky dominates ripe apple, cider-like, tart cherries, berries, Brett-funk, etc. Warming up this becomes much more complex as the sweeter wood flavors reveal themselves and turn this into even more of a sipper. Sharp mouthfeel, fuller bodied and moderate carbonation and lingering finish, relatively dry. I still prefer Supplication to this, but that's not really a bad thing. Not easiest to approach of the RR wilds if you're not a fan of the style, but if you are this is exceptional.

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Photo of zminor
4.72/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml poured into a Bruery tulip glass

A- A beautiful almost totally opaque amber. Very hard to see through unless right next to a light.

S- Richly textured plums and currants; the Cabernet comes through very strongly. Like smelling a fruity, carbonated Cab.

T - Ahhh. Wow. Sour currants, some dark cherry, and maybe hints of plum. Perfectly balanced.

M/D- Really solid - the carbonation matches very well. Light, crisp feel that seems like a combination between a fine Cab Sav and a fantastic beer. I could drink this all day.... try it with some Jalapeno jack cheese.

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Photo of sweetbrew82
4.72/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ML into a tulip

P: Golden brown from the bottle, and sits a crimson-soaked plum in the glass. The tall head is light tan, loose and frothy with bubbles frolicking happily about for what seemed like an eternity! It finally sank to form a thick cap on the surface. Looks very good!

A: Deliciously powerful aroma that could clear even the most congested nasal passages. Cherries, cranberries, plums, and grapes are all here. Also, I can definitely smell the Cabernet in there along with that pungeant barnyard funk.

T: Wow! Tart cherries from the jump just explode onto the scene along with dried cranberries, juicy raspberries, and green apple skins that lend their sourness in tongue-puckering fashion. Plums and grapes lay underneath for some sweet fruitiness that provides a nice contrast to the sourness. That beautiful Brett funkiness hits hard in the middle, lending a flavor that reminds me of pungeant cheese. Alcohol is undetectable in ethanol form, but the cabernet flavors add to an already great profile. Awesome!

M & D: Consecration sports a medium-light body that feels like champagne. Nice prickly bubbles dance on the tongue from the rather high carbonation. Drinkability is good as I really enjoyed every drop of this bottle, but I couldn't have another. This one deserves to be savored!

Notes: Damn! This is one hell of a ride! Very fruity, very sour, very funky, very intoxicating, and very good. Another perfect example of why people go ape-shit over Vinnie's concoctions. If you love sours, you owe it to yourself to get a hold of this one! Highly recommended

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Photo of pastradul
4.72/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Some friends picked up a bottle at B.L.A.H. for my birthday.

Pours a dark burgundy, with a slight pink head a little less then an inch thick. it goes away pretty quick.

the currents really come out in the beer! Gives it an earthy dry smell, lots of fruit sweetness is upfront with a bit a tartness on the nose.

The taste and mouth feel is just amazing. very smooth mouth feel with a slight tingle of carb on the tongue. Up front is a strong tart hello, then followed by a very sweet taste of blackberries followed by currents.

Really a great beer! I think I might like this more then supplication?

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Photo of 2BDChicago
4.72/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch # 004X2

A: Golden-amber, with mahagony tones. Clear though bottom of bottle has a slight haze. Little to no foam.

S: The first whiff gives one the indication of a very special brew. Oak barrel influenced, soured, semi-dark fruits. It's inviting and mysterious.

T: First impression is refreshingly tart and dry. The after taste is unbelieveably enticing but I can't separate the various flavor notes. It's a complex blend of taste sensations, and all morphing together then separting, but in the end very inviting. Never would guess the high abv in tastings.

D: RR has taken beers to a different level, which I mean in the most respectfull way. The aroma is as almost as attractive as the taste. As a fan of Imperial Stouts and big IPAs, at times I don't think I have the sosphistication for sours and wild ales, but this brew is easy to understand. The subelty of the complexity of this brew is the amazing skill of the brewer. So, the downside of loving RR is the difficulty in obtaining. Joy of the hunt.

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Photo of ChadQuest
4.72/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Look is solid. large head that passes quickly, leaves a solid clear body that is amber. is the color of rich mahogony wood, deep and sophisticated.

Funky bretty smell, of dark fruits, from the currants i would assume, but they really do come through. woody and winey, bit of vinegar.

Starts off with a bit of sweetness and tart that mix around and then fade into a big sour dry aftertaste. leather and wood, grapefruit on the finish, green apples, dark fruit.

great high carb mouthfeel, and i could drink this all the time until the 10% gets me, which is the only thing keeping it from being a higher score there. lovely beer.

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Photo of kornkid8600
4.72/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The taste is of oakiness, dark fruits, currants, a lot of the wine flavors really come in. Smells amazing, its a lot like wine, but its well carbonated, infact when the cork came off it started overflowing immediately.

Poured into a stemless wide sniffer. The bubbles kept flowing up from the bottom of the glass once it was poured. Dark brown, little head that disappears quickly, little lacing. It has a tart and sour taste, its pretty sour, but its actually pleasant.

If you're a beer noob I'd probably wait a bit as there's a lot of complexity, keep trying other stuff, heavier stuff. Because I had my friend's sisters try it and they gave that puckering look from the sourness.

I can't really fault the beer, but $23 is a LOT of money for beer. If it was 10-12 bucks I'd pick it up all the time, but this is something you should try once.
I'm still going to go try the other Russian River sours as I come across them.

Batch 04x04

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Photo of davod23
4.73/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch 3 poured into my Bruery tulip.

Pours a deep, clear garnet. A light beige head rises up and fizzles away immediately - and I do mean immediately. I barely had time to note the color before it was gone. Ah well, that's expected in a big sour like this one. Holding the beer up to the light, there are the most beautiful shimmering golden highlights. Beautiful.

Smell is good. I believe that I am sensing a pattern where my lowest score for my reviewed beers tends to be on the aroma. I don't know why that is - but often I wish that the aroma was more in my face. That's the case here. I am getting plenty of sour fruit here, mostly currants, red berries and perhaps a bit of raisin and cherry. Smells sour. A hint of the barrels, and I can detect red wine from the cabernet. Very inviting, if not as robust as I would like ideally.

Taste is superb. Massive sour fruit kick, currants and berries mostly. This is sour, but not puckeringly so - there is a sweetness that offsets it nicely. Tannic, oaky. Excellent.

Mouthfeel is perfect. Robust. Especially full mouthfeel for the style. The lack of head belies the active carbonation.

I drank a full 750 of this two nights ago, and I'm doing it again tonight. This is INSANELY drinkable for a 10% American Wild. Insane.

This is my second-favorite Russian River sour behind Supplication. Highly, highly recommended.

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Photo of avaccani
4.73/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch 004X2

Poured into a New Belgium Tulip.

A - Pours a crystal clear Mahogany with a very small off white head that vanishes into a fine ring that follows the glass down.

S - I am getting some Brett funk, leather, barnyard, some dark fruit, figs, plum, and a touch of oak.

T - Sour, Tart, Puckering Tart, oakey, and fruity in that order. Sourness starts off on first sip, followed by a nice tartness that increases until it puckers you. Then some of the oak is shining through followed by the dark fruit. Simply amazing. An incredible showcase of flavors.

M - On firt glance your thinking full bodied, but this is really light on the tounge. Very deceiving on carbonation. The sourness makes you feel like it has alot of carbonic bite, when in reality it is very lightly carbed.

O - This is the best sour I have ever had. The complexity is overwhelming. This is so masterfully crafted that it rivals the finest Bordeaux blends. This should be on every beer lovers bucket list.

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Photo of abecall98
4.73/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this bottle a while back. Saving it for a nice day, and what a better day than my last finals? I tried it the first time at the brewery during the release.

A - This beer looks amazing. A nice cherry dark red with a smooth half inch creamy head.

S - The smell is sour upfront, followed by a nice sweetness.

T - Sour Sour Sour. This beer starts off very sour and slows into a bitter cherry flavor. The sweetness finishes off this nice beer.

M - This beer is perfectly carbonated. The head hits your lips smoothly, and the dry finish leaves you wanting more.

D - This beer is one of those heavy hitters that you want to drink it all day, all night, but also want to savor it and take your time. Also, you would'nt want to session this at the price, but that does not reflect on the rating :). This beer however, can be overpowering due to the sourness, but other than that, high drinkability.

I am glad I waited for a nice day to enjoy this gem of a beer. RR hits another amazing beer.

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Consecration from Russian River Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 1,088 ratings.